THE SERVICE OF LIGHT AND THE liturgy OF THE WORD

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this most holy day, in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in prayer.  For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which through word and sacrament we share in his victory over death. Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to him, and all ages; to him be glory and power, through every age and for ever.  Amen.

The President lights the Easter candle:

May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

The minister bearing the candle raises it:

The light of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

(repeated twice)

The minister carries the candle to the chancel arch.  Near the back of the church and near the front the above words are repeated. Those near light their candles from the Easter candle and pass the light to their neighbours.  The minister puts the candle on its stand.

Alleluia!  Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

The Choir sings the Exultet

(Extinguish candles at the end of the Exultet)

The Collect

Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.

Reading
Acts 10.34-43

34Peter began to speak to those assembled in the house of Cornelius. ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

At end:

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Hymn

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day,  Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross,  Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss.  Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing,  Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly king,  Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave,  Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save.  Alleluia!

But the pains that he endured,  Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured;  Alleluia!
Now above the sky he’s king,  Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing.  Alleluia!

The Easter Garden

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To you be glory now and for ever. In your great mercy you have given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. By your blessing, may we for whom this garden has been prepared in celebration of his victory be strengthened in faith, know the power of his presence, and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory. Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

The president says this prayer

Risen Lord Jesus, as Mary Magdalene met you in the garden on the morning of your resurrection, so may we meet you today and every day: speak to us as you spoke to her; reveal yourself as the living Lord; renew our hope and kindle our joy; and send us to share the good news with others.
Amen.

The Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the first and the last, says the Lord, and the living one;
I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.

Alleluia.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Glory to you, O Lord.

John 20.1-18

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ which means Teacher. 17Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.“’ 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

At end:

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Dedication of pledges

Heavenly Father, by your grace alone we are called to proclaim the wonder of Christ’s resurrection. By your grace we receive every resource that we need. By your grace the Holy Spirit inspires us to use our gifts, our time, our possessions to build your church on earth. We offer to you now these pledges of our willingness to hear your call, and we ask you now to receive what you have given us. Strengthen our faith, increase our hope, channel our love, that by this act of obedience to your call, we may follow the steps of the apostles and make Christ known in our needy world, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Renewal of baptismal vows

The Decision

In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him.
Therefore I ask:

Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?

We reject them.

Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?

We renounce them.

Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?

We repent of them.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?

We turn to Christ.

Do you submit to Christ as Lord?

We submit to Christ.

Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?

We come to Christ.

Prayer over the Water

Praise God who made heaven and earth,

who keeps his promise for ever.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ
was baptized in the river Jordan:
we thank you for the gift of water
to cleanse us and revive us.

Saving God, give us life

We thank you that through the waters of the Red Sea
you led your people out of slavery
to freedom in the Promised Land.

Saving God, give us life

We thank you that through the deep waters of death
you brought your Son,
and raised him to life in triumph.

Saving God, give us life

Bless this water as a sign that we your servants who have been washed in it
may be made one with Christ in his death and in his resurrection,
to be cleansed and delivered from all sin.

Saving God, give us life

Send your Holy Spirit upon us,
bring us to new birth in the household of faith,
and raise us with Christ to full and eternal life;
for all might, majesty, authority, and power are yours,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Saving God, give us life

Profession of Faith

Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess
the faith of the Church.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit, 
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

While music plays, flowers are placed on the cross. Members of the congregation who wish to may make the sign of the cross on their foreheads with the baptismal water, as a symbol of renewal.

Prayers of Intercession

With response:

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

At the end:

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, Peace be with you! Then they were glad when they saw the Lord.

Alleluia! The peace of the risen Christ be always with you.

and also with you.  Alleluia!

Let us offer one another a sign of peace

All may exchange a sign of peace.

Hymn   (and collection):

Jesus lives! Thy terrors now
can, O death, no more appal us;
Jesus lives! By this we know
thou, O grave, canst not enthral us.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! Henceforth is death
but the gate of life immortal:
this shall calm our trembling breath,
when we pass its gloomy portal.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! For us he died;
then, alone to Jesus living,
pure in heart may we abide,
glory to our saviour giving.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! Our hearts know well
naught from us his love shall sever;
life nor death nor powers of hell
tear us from his keeping ever.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! To him the throne
over all the world is given:
may we go where he is gone,
rest and reign with him in heaven.
Alleluia!

C.F. Gellert (tr), Frances E. Cox

Dedication of Lent Collection

Father, in thanksgiving for those who labour on the land to provide our food, we offer these gifts to be used for the benefit of those who face trials and difficulties, especially those whose land and livestock have suffered from floods, those who bear a heavy burden of debt, those who feel the pain of isolation and loneliness. Bless the work of the Farming Community Network, and give courage and hope to all whom they support, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you.

The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

By his mercy we present our whole lives to God as a living sacrifice.

Liturgy of the sacrament

The Thanksgiving Prayer

The Lord be with you

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
almighty and eternal Father,
For by the mystery of his passion
Jesus Christ, your risen Son,
has conquered the powers of death and hell
and restored in men and women the image of your glory.
And so, in the joy of Easter,
earth and heaven resound with gladness,
while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation
sing for ever the hymn of your glory:

The Choir sings the Sanctus and Benedictus

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Jesus Christ is Lord:

Lord, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Saviour of the world.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate this memorial of our redemption..

Send the Holy Spirit on your people
so that we may praise and glorify you for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,  for ever and ever.

Amen.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

The Choir sings the Agnus Dei

Draw near with faith. Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ which he gave for you, and his blood which he shed for you.  Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us.

Alleluia! Let us keep the feast.

The Communion

The president and people receive communion. Any member of any Christian church who normally takes communion is welcome to receive the bread and wine. If you do not normally receive communion you are welcome to come to the altar rail to receive a blessing – please keep you hands down to indicate you are not taking communion.

During communion hymns and anthems are sung.

Dismissal

Alleluia!  Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Father of all,
we give you thanks and praise,
that when we were still far off
you met us in your Son and brought us home.
Dying and living, he declared your love,
gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.
May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;
we who drink his cup bring life to others;
we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us,
so we and all your children shall be free,
and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Hymn

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting:

No more we doubt thee, glorious prince of life;
life is nought without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above:

E. L. Budry

Blessing

God the Father, by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,
open to you who believe the gates of everlasting life.  Amen.

God the Son, who in bursting the grave has won a glorious victory, give you joy as you share the Easter faith.  Amen.

God the Holy Spirit, whom the risen Lord breathed into his disciples, empower you and fill you with Christ’s peace.  Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen

The Dismissal

Go in the light and peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

All songs covered by Christian Copyright Licensing have been reproduced under CCL licence number 507234

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